Kazakhstan Enlists Civil Society in Fight against Corruption

ASTANA – The role of civil society was discussed Nov. 19 during the regular session of the Commission on the Fight against Corruption under President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Newly appointed Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova chaired the meeting.

shutterstock_128008547In her opening remarks, Abdykalikova stressed the necessity to efficiently use the potential of civil society in the fight against corruption.

“I believe the commission will be cooperating more closely with civil society in the future owing to the introduction of representatives of recognised non-governmental organisations,” she noted.

In line with the presidential decree, three new members of the commission were appointed, including Chair of the Board of Transparency International Kazakhstan Natalia Malyarchuk, President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan Nurlan Yerimbetov and Chairman of the Nur Otan Anti-Corruption Council and Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) Deputy Kairbek Suleimenov.

During the meeting, the commission discussed ways to increase the efficiency of anti-corruption measures in the agricultural sector and tax administration. Special attention was paid to the reports presented by of the Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov and Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov, Prosecutor General Askhat Daulbayev, Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Fighting Corruption Kairat Kozhamzharov and Chairman of the Accounts Committee for Control over Execution of the Republican Budget Kozy-Korpesh Dzhanburchin.

After extensive discussion, recommendations were made to eliminate the conditions and circumstances conducive to corruption in the agricultural sector and the country’s fiscal system.

The issues raised by the commission are especially important in light of the new Programme for the Prevention of Corruption for 2015-2025, adopted Nov. 11 at a meeting of the Nur Otan Party political council.

Nazarbayev later met with Daulbayev and Kozhamzharov.

“Over the years, the country has done a lot in terms of eliminating the roots of bribery. In particular, we tightened anti-corruption law through the introduction of appropriate amendments, reducing the contacts between officials and entrepreneurs. In general, we are actively working in this direction and the results are evident, which find broad, positive response among the people,” Nazarbayev said at the meeting.

In the President’s words, the government is making every effort to provide all necessary conditions for the irreproachable and conscientious service of government employees.

“Today, the government has provided state officials with substantial material and social guarantees and we have the right to require that they comply with the law, setting an example of honest employment. This is especially important today, as the country is planning large-scale activities to implement the new Nurly Zhol (Bright Path) economic policy that requires significant public funding. Therefore, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Agency should work together with the Nur Otan party,” Nazarbayev said.

“The population must be interested in a joint uncompromising fight against corruption. Nobody can remain indifferent to this issue. It is important that the public does not tolerate cases of corruption; people should report each of them and all of the signals must be followed by the appropriate action,” he added.

Kazakhstan was one of the first former Soviet countries to adopt the Law on Fighting Corruption in 1998, which defines the framework, principles and methods of fighting corruption. The law seeks to protect citizens’ rights and freedoms, protect national security from threats caused by corruption and ensure effective work of state bodies and their employees by preventing and detecting corruption-related crimes.